If there was one story that dominated the trade press last year, it was the skills shortage.
In amongst the studies and statistics, many small business owners and tradespeople took to social media and the pages of the trade magazines to air concerns and tell real life stories of the difficulties they faced.
It’s a familiar tale – plumbers, electricians and gas engineers with more work than they can handle.
They are working long hours to squeeze jobs in, yet when they find some people power to support their growing business, they just can’t seem to find the right skills.
What does the skills shortage situation look like in 2018?
In a recent study conducted by trades retailer Screwfix, 57% of tradespeople reported difficulties in recruiting staff to support their businesses.
Many stated “a lack of focus on encouraging new people to train in the trades” as one of the key problems.
Be part of the solution
It’s time to take matters into your own hands. If you need qualified support or a particular skill set then train someone up – after all, a successful business is a two-way street!
You may already know someone with the right attitude and personality who, with a little extra training, could bring on your business in leaps and bounds.
It’s a win-win situation – you are helping them to progress their career and at the same time, your business benefits from the extra skills.
Why are the trades a good option for new entrants?
For those hoping to train for the building services engineering sector in 2018, the outlook is pretty good, with plenty of employers looking to recruit fresh meat to reinvigorate and grow their businesses.
The Screwfix study reported a general optimism amongst tradespeople about their prospects in 2018, with 82% expecting business activity to remain at the same level or grow over the next 12 months.
Additionally, nearly half (45%) report being busier than last year.
The research pointed to a poor public perception of a career in the trades amongst school leavers which could be exacerbating the problem.
However, those working in the building services engineering sector say they have a strong sense of achievement and satisfaction from a good job done, with 94% recommending a career in the trades!
It’s a joint effort
Crucially, if the sector is to continue to thrive in 2018 and beyond, we must all work together.
Training providers, industry bodies, government and businesses need to ensure quality training that suits employers needs and also provide the essential practical experience required by many trades qualifications, such as Managed Learning Programmes, NVQs and the apprenticeship scheme.
If you are looking to train for the trades in 2018, check out our ultimate guides to plumbing, electrician and gas careers HERE.